Massive Expansion Planned for Southern Town


DUSHANBE, Sept. 13 (IWPR) - Southern Tajikistan’s biggest urban centre, Qurghonteppa, is bursting at the seams and the authorities are promising an ambitious growth plan, although questions are being asked about how it will be paid for.

Jamoliddin Saifiddov reports that the town’s infrastructure is geared up for a population of around 35,000 people, but is actually home to some 75,000, created a cramped atmosphere and traffic chaos. For some years, the mayor’s office has been promising a new urban development plan.

Mayor Izatullo Zoirov, who took office less than a year ago, brings a background in the construction industry to the job and appears to be injecting new life into the planning process.

He told a press conference that the plan envisaged an expansion along the Vakhsh river – effectively a shift in the town’s centre of gravity – with new high-rise blocks as residential accommodation. Over a 40 year period, the plan envisages that the town will grow to 180,000 people.

Abdumajid Sharifov of the city’s water authority agrees that the town needs redevelopment, but asks where the massive funding is going to come from, given that there is not enough money at the moment to make a mains water supply universally available.